Friday 25 December 2020

The Laws Older than Time

 The star's appearance has been a long time in the making. Forged from the raw materials of the universe, in the depths of space, it has consumed itself to sustain itself - the roar of heat as protons combine, forcing out against the gravity that drags ever into the heart. Unseeing, unknowing, it follows the laws laid out when time began, its silent progress through the universe, held in balance between gravity and inertia.

As it first rises, new against a Christmas sky before anyone knows of Christmas - though some have hinted - it is seen by one who calls some colleagues. They make sacrifices - for they are people of faith. They plot its course - for they are scientists. Maybe they cast some spells - they don't draw the lines between magic, faith and religion like we do. Then they set off. They will be a while.

In a manger in a village in the hills, a mother lays her child. He knows nothing yet of the wonders of the skies. But in the darkness of his eyes are all their glories. Somehow those eyes have seen them at their birth. And yet for now, those eyes are unfocused. All the baby knows is warmth and cold, hunger and milk, light and shadow.

The mother sings the lullabies her mother sang to her - to the one who wrote the music of the heavens, and heard the praise and joy of the angels as he cast the stars across the sky.

The laws of the world, laid out by this child. All things underpinned by him, upheld by him, kept in existence by him. But tonight he is subject to those laws he made.

And underneath those ancient laws, as shepherds shuffle in around the manger, the mother, the confused husband and the still centre of all - underneath those laws lie the older ones.

The love of Father for Son, the love carried by the Spirit, draws the shepherds and Magi, the star and those parents. Stronger than gravity, brighter than light, deeper and darker than that baby's eyes. Love re-enters the world it made in love, sustains in love and redeems with love. And the God that dies - written across the myths and religions of the world like a red cord in golden cloth - enters the world, to live under its laws, and die under them, and then transcend them with the laws older than time.

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